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Graduate Spotlight: MA Costume Design for Performance student Sy-Yu Chen

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The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan
Written by
loukia
Published date
09 December 2016

Up next on our LCFMA17 Graduate Spotlight series, is MA Costume Design for Performance student, Sy-Yu Chen. Sy-Yu is originally from Taiwan where she studied BFA Theatre Design and Technology at the Taipei National University of the Arts, majoring in Costume Design. We spoke to Sy-Yu to find out more about her final MA project.

 My final project is inspired by the script “The Eagle Has Two Heads” by Jean Cocteau. It expresses his obsession with death, and the fulfilment of love in death. The performance focuses on the development of the Queen from being trapped by her own self, to finding the place where she belongs.  The performance explores a way to present “poetic language”, and aims to express the hidden message by creating the image of eternity.

The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan.

The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan.

Why did you choose LCF and MA Costume Design for Performance?

London College of Fashion is one of the world’s most well-known leading universities in fashion, and also possesses a wonderful reputation in the industry. Also, not many places in London offers the Costume Design course that LCF offers. Aside from the abundant resources, it also provides opportunities for students from different colleges at UAL to collaborate with one another, in order to promote talents and skills exchange from different fields. I am grateful for LCF for selecting me to be part of this program.

What did you enjoy most about the course, and what did you find most challenging?

This year has been really important for me, I feel like I am much braver than I was in the past. What I enjoy the most in the course is finding my own creative path and walking it without doubt. Being able to learn, to design and to work without restrictions gave me a lot of freedom and helped me gain a lot of confidence.

The most challenging thing has always been being a stranger in the country. When I got to work on cool projects, but had not yet built up the social network that could support me, I felt lonely.

The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan.

The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan.

What would be your top three tips for prospective students?

  •       Try new things.
  •       Be playful.
  •       Don’t restrain yourself to any of your previous ways.

What was your favourite thing about studying in London?

How could I not be excited to be walking on the streets, in the city where all the newest, and coolest things happen?

Have you undertaken any work experience or placements whilst at LCF?

A few of my classmates and I were lucky that we attended the Illustration and Performance Festival last summer. It was a great experience where we had a chance to work with each other and to collaborate with dancers from Central Saint Martins.

Describe your work in five words…

A never ending happening.

Who is your biggest inspiration or muse?

Jean Cocteau. He used surreal methods in his work to prompt profound issues, and “poetic language” to express a fresher and purer world. He provides daily life with new meanings, shaping it into new perceptions.

The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan.

The Eagle has Two Heads by Sy-Yu Chen. Photography: Paul Bevan.

What are your future plans and how do you think the course will help you?

My plan for the future is to create more threads in order to gather them and to set up a life-long story. This year, doing my MA, has helped me a lot. The course helped me to broaden my vision, and now I see more possibilities.

LCF is moving to Stratford – what do you think about the university moving east?

I think it will be great! East London is such a lively place where all kinds of exiting activities happen. It’s also a plus that students don’t have to travel to different campuses, as everything will be in one place.